The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has officially written to the ICC to begin the adjudicating process on the canceled Test between England and India. ICC’s verdict will decide whether the match counts as a forfeit from India and thereby the series ending at 2-2.
It has been reported that there are two possible outcomes of the Test match. The match will be voided and the series will be considered as a four-match series if the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) feels the cancelation was under the COVID allowances in the ICC rules.
That would mean India wins the series 2-1 and appropriate changes will be made in the World Test Championship (WTC) table based on the percentage of points won. The other possibility is the match being called as a forfeit by India and terming England as the winners, thereby drawing the series 2-2.
“Any matches that do not take place due to the Acceptable Non-Compliance of one or both Parties (as defined in the World Test Championship Competition Terms) shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the Points Percentage,” says the conditions according to ICC rulebook.
“This is not a COVID cancellation” – ECB Chief Tom Harrison
The ECB has its stance very clear on the matter. They believe there was no outbreak in the Virat Kohli-led squad and therefore should mean that they couldn’t field a team. BCCI, on the other hand, asserted that COVID severely impacted their side and hence couldn’t field a playing XI.
“This is not a COVID cancellation. The match was canceled because of serious concerns over the mental health and well-being of one of the teams and there is a difference… We have the ICC adjudicate over whether this series is completed now, whether that fifth match is null and void or whether it’s actually regarded as a forfeiture or something else,” Harrison stated on Friday.
Now that an official letter has been written to the ICC, the proceedings will be initiated. The ICC will set up an independent report on the events that actually took place in Manchester. The report will then be presented to the DRC which will be chaired by Michael Beloff.
They will decide whether the situation was forced due to the COVID outbreak. Whatever they decide will be the final ruling and it doesn’t need to be formally approved by the ICC. It also means there won’t be an appeal process, in case either side is unhappy with the decision.